I thought it might be fun for you to whet your reading appetite by reading the beginnings of four delightful short stories by Author Annie Kelleher. "Free to Good Home" is a collection of futuristic, clever and funny short stories--with food for future thought thrown in. You can buy these short stories on Amazon.com.
Free to Good Home
The first time Marvin thinks about adoption is at Passover, when his mother burns the gefilte fish. The second is a few weeks later, when she leaves the group from the casino bus, and is found stuffing dollar bills into g-strings at a strip club. And the third is the following morning, when she refuses to even discuss the possibility of giving up the third-floor walk-up she shared with Marvin’s father, and moving in with Marvin and his family.
But as usual, it’s his wife who brings it up. She has a pamphlet from the Family Adoption Unit of the Community Center, and she pushes it toward him as the dino-bot removes their plates. Deb doesn’t say anything as she slides the glossy pamphlet across the table.
He glances down as the dino-bot places a plate with a slice of lemon merengue pie in front of him. The pamphlet reads: “WHEN IT’S TIME TO SEVER THE CORD” and features a photograph of a smiling gray-haired woman embraced by a younger couple and children, as another younger couple drives off waving in the background.
“You can’t be serious,” says Marvin, as he plunges his fork into the pie.
“Of course, I’m serious,” replies Deb. “Look at how happy Ruth’s family is with the grandparents they picked up. Look at how happy the kids are. Why should we deny your mother the same chance for happiness?”
After the Rapture
Bess’s first inkling that the financial markets really had predicted the end of the world came when she awoke before 4 AM on April Fool’s Day to check the futures. It took her a few minutes to ease herself out of Kitty’s embrace, because the warm nest of her wife’s body was almost too inviting to leave.
But the niggling sense of unease, the one she’d gone to bed with, the one that had been growing stronger over the last few days, that something was about to happen… something big and bad and akin to aliens’ landing…wouldn’t let her keep her eyes closed.
For the past week, and for no apparent reason that neither she, the firm’s market analysts, nor all the Talking Heads both online and on TV were able to discern, the broad market indicators had been going nuts. Crazy nuts, as in far beyond the normal tides of chaos that periodically upended Wall Street.
Stocks of all kinds started freefalling for no apparent reason – and then reversed themselves just as suddenly; some clients called, demanding to know when she was going to buy more of everything, while others – in full panic mode – demanded she abandon all positions and convert directly to cash. Or gold… except for the fact that gold was the one thing that appeared to have a clear and obvious direction: straight down.
Raising Jerry Garcia
Raising Jerry Garcia
Celebrity Supernatural #3
(with Don Goodman)
When Bernadette calls to tell me that Stevie Garracino is missing … as in gone … as in not seen for nearly twenty four hours … I’m too busy to even hear the phone ring. The day before, the mother of all summer storms hit our little town on the South Jersey shore, knocking out all the power, leaving streaming streets and debris-blocked avenues.
In its aftermath, the August weather has turned predictably gorgeous – if you’re one of the tourists still stranded here or the National Guard that’s come to dig us out, that is.
If you’re running a flower shop on the first floor of your house as a cover for the illegal pot-growing operation on the third floor, not so much. I’m not just out of business until the power comes back on. I have a much bigger problem.
It’s two o’clock in the afternoon and Bob, Debby and I have just finished watering all the plants. Without the ventilation and watering systems operating, not only is the entire crop threatened, but we’re in jeopardy of having our whole business come tumbling down around us. Without the carbon filters syphoning the air, in the August heat, even with every one of the windows in the entire twenty-seven room house open, the place is going to reek like a marijuana farm in no more than a day or two.
Walking with Elvis
Celebrity Supernatural #4
After “The Cremation of Sam McGee”
-With apologies to Robert L. Service
“There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold;
The arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.
The Northern Lights have seen strange sights but the strangest they ever did see
Was that night in Maine, from the wreck of the train, we hunted down Elvis Presley.”
Grandpa arrived clutching the telegram, just as Grandma was putting the remains of last night’s pot roast on the table. It was two days before Christmas, and the tail end of the second blizzard in five days had finally stopped moaning around the eaves. He entered on a gust that blew a swirl of snow all the way to the living room before it evaporated in the heat of the wood-burning stove.
“I’ll need to be up early,” he said, as he kicked off his boots, and hung up his parka. He brushed the snow off the beard that made him look a little like Abraham Lincoln, and dropped a kiss on my grandmother’s rosy cheek. “You’re so young and beautiful,” he crooned. “You’re everything to me.” From inside his sweater vest, he whipped out a pale pink rose tied with a silver ribbon. “Happy anniversary a day early, Mrs. B,” he said with a wink at me.
Grandma giggled like the sixteen year old she’d been when they met. For as long as I could remember, Grandma resembled Mrs. Butterworth to the degree that when I was five, I thought she was Mrs. Butterworth and told my entire kindergarten class that the syrup bottle lady was my grandma. I might have been seventeen but I could count on that story being rolled out whenever I was home from boarding school, like an old ornament that refused to break. “Now that’s young and beautiful.” She returned a quick kiss on his lips, then dodged his embrace. “That pelt on your face is all wet…I wish you’d get rid of that thing.”
“Keep’s my face warm.” Grandpa winked at me, then my sixteen year old cousin Travis, who was visiting from Boston for the holiday. “Pass that stew, young man.” He ladled out a dripping bowlful then glanced at Grandma, who’d taken her place at the other end of the table. “Do me a favor after supper, Nellie, and call down to Elise at the hotel? She’s about to get slammed.”